Disco SSD o como acelerar tu PC

Disco SSD o como acelerar tu PC

¿Qué es un SSD?

Solid State driver, es un dispositivo de almacenamiento de datos para equipos informáticos. Denominados así al no tener partes móviles, a diferencia del disco HDD o disco duro tradicional, compuesto por platos magnéticos giratorios y cabezal. Consta de memoria no volátil y está hecho de componentes electrónicos en estado sólido. Al no tener partes móviles, se reducen considerablemente los tiempos de acceso, búsqueda y de latencia respecto a los discos duros magnéticos. Su funcionamiento es además silencioso y sin vibraciones, es también más seguro contra la perdida de datos por golpes.

Por otro lado, su vida útil es menor ya que tienen un número limitado de ciclos de escritura, por lo que, llegado el caso, podrían perderse los datos de forma repentina e irrecuperable. El tipo de interfaz SATA es común con el resto de discos duros, por lo que es fácilmente intercambiable y sin necesidad de adaptadores o que funcionen a través de otros dispositivos compatibles. También existen dispositivos que combinan ambas tecnologías (SSD y HDD) llamados unidades híbridas (SSHD) con el objeto de obtener rendimientos aceptables de mejora, pero a un menor precio.

¿Cómo funciona?

Como hemos comentado, su propósito es el de almacenar datos al igual que un disco duro HDD, pero de una forma diferente, ya que usan un tipo de memoria flash parecido a la memoria RAM pero basado en memorias no volátiles NAND, que impide que se borren los datos al apagar el equipo. Se podría decir que son una evolución de las memorias USB.

Al ser memoria no volátil, no requiere ningún tipo de alimentación constante o de otro tipo como pilas o batería, para no perder los datos en caso de apagón repentino o de otro tipo.

Su estructura es totalmente diferente respecto a un disco duro HDD, pues en vez de estar compuesto por discos magnéticos en constante movimiento y un cabezal para búsqueda y escritura, los SSD no tienen partes mecánicas móviles y usan un sistema de celdas eléctricas conectadas entre sí, que permiten enviar y recibir datos de una forma mucho más rápida. Las celdas o cuadrículas están separadas por secciones o páginas agrupadas en bloques que es donde se almacenan los datos. En lugar de cabezales, los discos SSD tienen un procesador integrado o controller para realizar las operaciones de lectura y escritura de datos. Estos procesadores, son los encargados de decidir como almacenar, recuperar, limpiar los datos del disco. Su eficiencia es uno de los factores de los que depende la velocidad de la unidad.

Principales diferencias SSD vs HDD.

SSD

  • Menor consumo.
  • Más rápido y silencioso.
  • No produce vibraciones.
  • No genera fragmentación.

HDD

  • Más económico.
  • Mayor capacidad (por el momento).
  • Más duradero (pero no siempre).

Algunas características que comparar.

  • Capacidad: En estos momentos, la capacidad de los discos HDD es mayor (hasta 10 TB), no obstante, el rápido avance de la tecnología SSD hará que ambas capacidades no tarden mucho en equipararse.
  • Durabilidad:
    • SSD: Sus celdas pueden reescribirse un número limitado de veces, aunque ese número es realmente muy amplio para un usuario normal. También se pueden controlar mediante software de registro de actividad para saber en que fase de su vida útil se encuentra.
    • HDD: Suelen ser más duraderos, pero existe el riesgo de que las partes mecánicas puedan sufrir deterioro con el uso prolongado y en condiciones desfavorables. Existen herramientas para detectar fallos, aunque estos pueden resultar impredecibles en algunos casos.
  • Fiabilidad:
    • SSD: Las nuevas generaciones han mejorado mucho la fiabilidad, incluyendo células adicionales de memoria libre para poder reasignarlas y no perder capacidad en caso de sectores dañados. Actualmente los fabricantes han aumentado la garantía hasta 5 años y en el mercado profesional hasta 10 años.
    • HDD: Son mucho más sensibles a los golpes debido a sus componentes mecánicos. Debido a esto, suelen ser más duraderos en equipos de sobremesa que en portátiles y es poco recomendable usarlos como disco duro externo. También pueden ser afectados por campos magnéticos de los que es conveniente mantener alejados.
  • Velocidad:
    • El tiempo medio de arranque es de aproximadamente 7 segundos frente a 16 segundos del HDD, mientras que la velocidad media de transferencia de datos del SSD puede oscilar entre 200 y 550 MB/Seg y la del HDD entre 50 y 150 MB/Seg. En líneas generales, la elección de cambiar a un disco SSD, supone mejorar casi en 5 veces la velocidad de nuestro PC.

Formatos SSD. Uso interno o externo. Tamaños.

Podemos encontrar un disco SSD en los siguientes formatos:

  • Interno: Suele estar como disco principal dentro de un Pc en el caso de que al comprar el equipo ya lo tenga incorporado, bien solo o con otro HDD. En el caso de que lo añadamos nuestro PC, debemos siempre seleccionarlo como disco del sistema para que el equipo funcione más rápido. Utilizan puertos SATA.
  • Externo: Provisto de una carcasa sirve como almacenamiento de datos, para copias de seguridad, programas, vídeos, fotografías, grandes archivos, etc. Tienen un puerto USB 3.0 que mejora la capacidad de transferencia y suelen utilizarse como apoyo de equipos portátiles para aumentar su capacidad de almacenaje sin disponer de espacio interno. Utilizan puertos SATA.
  • NVMe M.2: Es el formato más reciente, más caros, pero mucho más rápidos ya que no están limitados por el ancho de bus. Estas unidades utilizan protocolos SATA, PCIe y NVMe. Según la conexión pueden alcanzar diferentes velocidades, siendo la más rápida la conectada a una ranura PCIe. Al ser más pequeñas, son ideales para los equipos portátiles siempre que dispongan de el tipo de conexión necesaria.

En cuanto al tamaño, este suele ser de 2,5” y su diseño muy similar al de los discos duros HDD. En el caso del formato tipo tarjeta, éste suele variar según la capacidad, modelo, conexión, espacio disponible, etc.

Marcas y precios.

Poco a poco los fabricantes van mejorando la capacidad de producción de estos dispositivos reduciendo los costes y aumentando sus prestaciones. Hace apenas 2 años, los precios de los discos SSD casi triplicaban a los HDD. Hoy en día todavía resultan más caros pero las diferencias se han ido reduciendo considerablemente, hasta el punto de que el incremento de precio es poco significativo teniendo en cuenta las enormes ventajas que ofrecen.

Crucial MX500 SSD 250GB SATA: 45,00€

WD Blue 3D NAND SSD SATA 500GB: 65,00€

Samsung 860 EVO Basic SSD 1TB SATA3: 150,00€

Cambiar a un disco SSD: La mejor opción.

Hoy por hoy podemos decir que sustituir un disco duro HDD por un disco SSD es la  forma más sencilla para acelerar un PC y con la que obtendríamos unos mejores resultados. Otras alternativas serían duplicar la memoria RAM o sustituir el procesador por otro más potente. Ambas (en conjunto o individualmente) alternativas serían (por supuesto) muy positivas, pero sus ventajas estarían siendo limitadas por un acceso a datos que continúa siendo lento. Esto podría generar en muchos casos un «cuello de botella» debido a una lentitud de respuesta en la búsqueda de datos. En el caso contrario, las mejoras serían muy visibles con la opción de un disco sólido como único cambio, ya que la rapidez al acceder a los datos reduciría considerablemente los tiempos en realizar cada operación.

luism

T. S. en Administración de Sistemas Informáticos en Red

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